Questions? Write Me at

Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

Plant of the Week: Peas

Photo from the USA Dry Pea & Bean Council

Peas (Pisum sativum) are a part of the legume family which makes them a great source of nutritional protein for us and a great nitrogen source in our gardens.  Dry peas (split peas) have been cultivated since ancient times while tender peas (shell, snap and snow) weren't developed until the 1500's (CDC). The garden pea entered the realm of science in the 1800's when Gregor Mendel used the garden pea to study trait inheritance (stretch you memory back to school science classes!).

The shell and snap peas (eatable pods) are family favorites in my home and last week I invested a lot of room toward peas in my garden.  Peas are climbing plants and fit well in my recent focus on vertical gardening, but I also planted some in squares following the concept of square foot gardening.  They are a cool weather crop and can be direct seeded into the garden as early as 5 weeks prior to the average last spring frost.  Sow them about 1.5 inches deep and 3 inches apart in well drained soil.  Pick daily while they are in peek harvest season.  Once the temperatures get warm, the peas will start to fade and can be removed to provide space for something else.  I plant my garden knowing that I will be able to use the peas' space for squash, cucumber or pumpkin vines later in the season. 
2 shell pea rows
4 snap pea squares

Get more information on the garden pea from the National Gardening Association.

Feel free to share any plants that you would like to see featured as the plant of the week and I'll see what I can do.  See you back next Wednesday for the next Plant of the Week. 

Happy Gardening! :)


  1. yeah peas, mine are up about 4 inches, normally I would have planted earlier but what a cool weird Spring.
    Question sometimes green beans ( bush variety, not pole) will sprout and I will get a few that grow but the sprout is odd, it is like the seed makes the first leaves, they are thick and tough, not like the first leaves on the others, they end up growing just as well and by the time the true leaves appear everything is on target but those first ones are just bizarre. ever had that or know what I am talking about? I sure hope we don't have to go cover things tonight!

  2. Wow Shannon, you must have had your peas in a couple of weeks ago! yeah, soon you will be eating peas! :D

    I do know what you're talking about with the beans. I'm not sure why they do that... those 'leaves' are the food source for the new plant. Obviously since the 'odd' seedlings survive and do as well as the normal ones, they are still getting everything they need. I suspect it is just genetic variation. Hope I gave an answer that is helpful.

  3. thanks I am glad someone else has seen it, I brought it up in our Master gardener class several years ago and NO ONE knew what I was talking about so I thought I was a freak bean grower! LOL thanks!!

  4. Shannon, I'd love to hear what you think of the Master Gardener class. I looked at it, but the $ was out of my budget right now!

  5. I would say....I liked it overall, goes where it wants to..meaning you may spend a lot of time talking about dirt, grass and bonsai. like it or not. Basic botany and flowers, herbs, vegetables etc really were not talked about other than perennial slide shows and assigned reading. Good resource book and handouts but if you have a natural passion for gardening like you probably don't need it unless you would like the volunteer aspect or connection with more gardeners. lots of info when I took it on trees- new varieties etc. was fun, but the money would buy a great book and some nice plants too. IF you have any more specific questions or want to see the book or handouts let me know, via my email contact on my profile. You are doing a very nice job on your blog!!!

  6. Thanks Shannon! I love being able to share my love of gardening with other people and help when I can. :) I may just take you up on your offer at some point. Thank you for your sharing and all your input! :D


I would love to hear your gardening comments and/or questions.